By on August 3, 2017

2017 Audi A4 Lake Of Shining Waters - Image: © Timothy Cain

2017 Audi A4 2.0T Prestige

2.0-liter inline-four, DOHC turbo (252 horsepower @ 5,000 rpm; 273 lb-ft @ 1,600 rpm)

Seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, all-wheel drive

24 city / 31 highway / 27 combined (EPA Rating, MPG)

9.8 city / 7.7 highway / 8.8 combined (NRCan Rating, L/100km)

27.0 mpg [8.7 L/100 km] (Observed)

Base Price: $36,950 (U.S) / $41,795 (Canada)

As Tested: $54,525 (U.S.) / $61,035 (Canada)

Prices include $950 destination charge in the United States and $2,195 for freight, PDI, and A/C tax in Canada and, because of cross-border equipment differences, can’t be directly compared.

One year ago, Audi Canada delivered a 2017 Audi A4 2.0T to my driveway. In the official TTAC review, it was my mission to declare everything that was wrong with the fifth-generation A4.

“But there’s a problem with that strategy,” I wrote in September 2016, “because there isn’t much wrong with the 2017 Audi A4, a car that I believe has shot to the top of its segment.” One week with the Audi A4 revealed only a few faults, all of which were minor.

Fast forward to August 2017, however, and I’ve relocated to another province. Audi Canada saw fit to deliver another 2017 Audi A4 2.0T Quattro to my driveway, almost identically specced out. This time, a scheduling quirk means the A4 hangs around Margate, Prince Edward Island, for two weeks.

If a one-week stay in an urban environment couldn’t expose the B9 Audi A4 as an overpriced, underbuilt, upmarket Volkswagen, could a two-week visit to the rough-and-tumble red dirt roads of rural Prince Edward Island do the trick?

No.

The 2017 Audi A4, up to its ears in $17,575 worth of options, is a car that does very little wrong.2017 Audi A4 French River - Image: © Timothy CainLet’s spell out the issues for old times’ sake. First, the monostable return-to-center shifter lacks the intuitive nature of virtually every shifter of prior decades. The separate park button lacks feedback. The delay in sourcing drive or reverse is irritating. Second, MMI’s volume control is positioned too far rearward for perfect ergonomics. Third, the rear seat’s gigantic center hump takes what could almost be a family friendly rear seat and limits usability. Fourth on the list is a turbocharged 2.0-liter that’s decidedly unmelodious, sounding as much like a diesel as it does a gas engine. Finally, with Audi Drive Select set in Comfort and the transmission left out of Sport mode, there’s palpable off-the-line lag.

Yet those specific negatives are offset by their own positives, and on top of that you’ll find numerous other winning factors that put the A4 over the top as a semi-affordable luxury car. For instance, while the shifter lacks intuitive motions, in your hand it still feels like a pricey piece. The volume control, while imperfectly positioned, is still center-tunnel-mounted like volume control knobs should be, and it’s still linked to a generally tolerable MMI system. The rear center hump, meanwhile, is the price you pay for all-wheel drive from the company that brought all-wheel drive into the luxury mainstream. (Quattro surely sounds more enticing than 4Matic or xDrive.) The 2.0T’s unfortunately unrefined song, meanwhile, is made evident only because wind and road noise is shushed by Audi’s NVH gurus. Furthermore, any lag exhibited by the 2.0T and its seven-speed dual-clutch partner is removed with Audi Drive Select in Dynamic or the transmission slotted into Sport.

That’s right: even the A4’s badness is goodness.

And the A4’s goodness is most definitely good.2017 Audi A4 Cousins Shore - Image: © Timothy CainPerceived quality is exemplary, with material selections such as the extensive metallic accents and steering wheel leather suitable for a far more costly car. The texture of the climate control knobs, the action of the door handles, the clarity of the instrument cluster’s nav display all create an aura of expense a BMW 3 Series simply can’t match.

The ride and handling balance isn’t quite spot on, not with these 19-inch wheels and Audi’s adaptive sport suspension set to Dynamic. The A4 becomes a fair sports sedan on a twisty road when so equipped, but not edgy enough to be confused with its S4 sibling. Hankook Ventus 245/35ZR19 tires also create a measure of unwanted impact harshness that makes it obvious you’re not driving a more comfortable A6. But the A4 is agile, lighter on its toes than the previous-generation A4, and happy to tackle a twisty road by powering out of corners when it can’t carry all of its momentum through it. Ride comfort is by no means firm enough to be punishing, but it’s firm enough not to be confused with an everyday midsize sedan.2017 Audi A4 John Murhpy Road - Image: © Timothy CainIf there’s a standout characteristic, it’s the 252-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder ubiquitous in the Volkswagen Group family in one iteration or another. The relatively modest power output belies the rapid acceleration. An A4, with 274 lb-ft of torque at a low 1,600 rpm, hooks up all four wheels and shoots out of the gate while its seven-speed dual-clutch teaches a clinic on How To Snap Through Gears 101 – down the hall in Mrs. Ingolstadt’s classroom, please.

Expect 0-60 in distinctly less than six seconds in the Dynamic setting and the seven-speed’s Sport mode. Overtaking is a breeze, with a torque plateau that always makes all of that power accessible. And there, while shooting past RAV4-driving tourists, the A4 settles into an imperturbable groove at speeds far beyond acceptable North American levels, seemingly far happier in an Autobahn mindset where the steering weight and brake feel and suspension calibration cause the A4 to put in a bit of work.2017 Audi A4 Prestige Interior - Image: © timothy CainIndeed, it’s too easy in everyday driving scenarios for the 2017 Audi A4 to feel like a moderately well-executed entry-luxury car. Ah, but once the A4 is forced to prove its mettle, then the true cohesiveness of the package becomes more obvious. The A4 is more tactile than an Infiniti Q50, better packaged than a Lexus IS, of apparently greater quality than a BMW 3 Series, and more sensibly designed inside than a Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

But to what degree do other 2017 Audi A4s feel like this A4? From the Prestige trim that adds $9,500 to the base price, to the $575 paint and the $750 sport package and the $800 ventilated seats, our tester is no basic A4.

Thus, perhaps this 2017 Audi A4 does have a single glaring fault after all: great expense. Next summer, I’ll need three weeks to discover whether a basic Audi A4, $17,575 less costly than this A4, removes the best-in-class status earned by a pair of extravagant examples.

[Images: © Timothy Cain]

Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Truth About Cars and Autofocus.ca and the founder and former editor of GoodCarBadCar.net. Follow on Twitter @timcaincars.

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83 Comments on “2017 Audi A4 2.0T Quattro Review, Part Deux – Second and Third Weeks Confirm What Week One Made Clear...”


  • avatar
    FlyinGato@youtube

    I can never really tell the difference between and A4, an A5, an A6, and even an A3! Same sausage, different length. I believe they all use a similar chassis as well. Too much of the same if you ask me…

    • 0 avatar
      a5ehren

      The A3 is tiny and the A5 is a coupe (or liftback now). The A4 and A6 are a bit harder, but I can pick them out pretty easily based on size.

    • 0 avatar
      caltemus

      The A3 and TT are golf platform (MQB) based, which is a transverse platform. The A4, A5, and other larger audis, are on the longitudinal MLB platform, not shared with lesser VAG brands (ignoring one chinese-only VW). They all look indestinguishable, which makes it tough to sell an S8 that looks like a cheap A3. I’m glad other companies are recognizing this is an issue, with Hyundai making a statement recently that their cars will be more diversely styled.

  • avatar
    S2k Chris

    I really really like this car. In Premium Plus trim with Quattro, you add metallic paint ($575), Cold Weather pack ($500), Nav ($3000), Sport ($750), and ventilated seats ($800).

    You get a sticker of just under $50k, but a street price of around $45k, which is perfectly acceptable when you look at what that gets your elsewhere. The only regret is that they discontinued the nice bright red color. Hopefully by the time I am ready to buy in a year or two it’s back (I’m not paying $4k for a custom color).

    • 0 avatar
      Ban-One

      let’s just take a look at what you get for that street price elsewhere — an XE 35T, Q50S RS & 340i can all be had close to that amount, and all three would wipe the floor with the A4. not saying the A4 isn’t a nice car, i think it is, but i wouldn’t play the value card when discussing audi dealer pricing

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        No way can you get an AWD 340i comparably equipped for $45K. That is 330i money, which is perfectly comparable to this A4. An AWD 340i equipped like this Audi is nearly $60K MSRP (and you can’t even get vented seats on a 3), call it $55K street. You might get a base no options RWD 340i for $45K on a good day. The others are Japanese and a Jaguar, and just don’t really matter at all. Though I personally would take the Jag over the A4 any day.

        If the rest of them could get the prices the Germans command for comparable iron, you can bet your sweet butt they would. But they can’t so they don’t even try. So you get more stuff for the same money, or the same stuff for less money. They aren’t cheaper because Infiniti and Jaguar are generous, they are cheaper because people won’t pay that much for them.

        • 0 avatar
          Ban-One

          “The others are Japanese and a Jaguar, and just don’t really matter at all. Though I personally would take the Jag over the A4 any day.”

          contradict much?

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            Not at all. The marketplace has spoken – people value German cars over Japanese and British ones in this class. Shown by relative sales and the prices they can command. The Japanese sell at a big discount relative to the Germans, the Jaguar sells in tiny numbers. Lexus, Infiniti, and Acura are not charities, if they could get German car money for equivalent cars they would.

            I personally would rather have the Jaguar out of the choices offered, but I am an individual, not the market as a whole. Ultimately I am not buying any of them because I already have what I wanted, and nobody sells anything like it anymore in the US – a stickshift RWD station wagon that isn’t on stilts.

  • avatar
    slavuta

    Is A4 designer’s brother works for Kia? Hitler always thought that Porsche will build a car, rest of the world will envy

  • avatar
    jh26036

    Nice car, nice engine, nice AWD, just needs more Avant…don’t give me the allroad crap.

  • avatar
    brucebanner

    Suddenly I am wondering if Honda benched the new accord against the A4?

    If so, good news for Accord buyers.

    • 0 avatar
      VW4motion

      Except they are driving an Accord, and not an A4. If Honda can keep the electrical and transmission issues down, they could have decent sedan. Unfortunately Toyota has built a winner in the Camry, which is in the same segment as the Accord.

      • 0 avatar
        brucebanner

        I predict it will sell just fine, like it has for 41 years or so.

        • 0 avatar
          Anuska

          If you’re trying to compare either the Honda Accord or the Toyota Camry to the Audi A4 I hope you’re joking.

          Is the Audi over priced, sure, but even with the big engined Honda’s and Camry’s it just makes the ride and handling worse though they might be nearing as quick in a straight line.

  • avatar
    Fred

    I would of loved to upgrade my 2007 A3, and while I blame the lack of a manual and no hatch in the A3, the real reason was price. I still miss that car after 2+ years

    • 0 avatar
      Der_Kommissar

      That’s the first entry level lux car I really wanted, but the back seats were just too tight for 4 to 6 years of rear facing car seats. I really wish they had kept the gas hatchback when they redid the A3 now that I don’t need all that space.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        A hatchback A3 is a Golf GTI. For many thousands less, and missing nothing of any great importance. If you absolutely feel you simply must have AWD, then a Golf R is the same thing for about the same price.

  • avatar
    shift99

    I like how they still offer a manual!!

  • avatar
    davefromcalgary

    Perfect car is perfect!

    Monostable shifter? Pass.

  • avatar
    stingray65

    So this is the conventional benchmark to compare with the Tesla Model 3? Loaded up or base they are the about the same price, about the same size, about the same acceleration, about the same brand image. The Tesla will be cheaper to fuel, but go only half as far per “tank” and take way longer to “refuel”. The Audi is available now, and the Tesla might be a year or two away for the average customer, but is subsidized in many markets. Will be interesting to watch.

  • avatar
    matt3319

    I could never stomach $17K in options. I bet I could be happy at around $40K I cant believe 4 cylinder cars are getting so high. I saw a review on the current CTS with a 4 cylinder and the MSRP was like $64 frickin thousand dollars!!! We all know it wont cross the street at that price, but geezo!!

    • 0 avatar
      S2k Chris

      It has $17k of options the same way an Accord Touring has $12k of options on an Accord LX. It’s trim levels more than it’s options; the top trim level actually has very few standalone options available.

  • avatar
    VW4motion

    “Let’s spell out the issues for old times’ sake. First, the monostable return-to-center shifter lacks the intuitive nature of virtually every shifter of prior decades. The separate park button lacks feedback. The delay in sourcing drive or reverse is irritating. Second, MMI’s volume control is positioned too far rearward for perfect ergonomics. Third, the rear seat’s gigantic center hump takes what could almost be a family friendly rear seat and limits usability.”

    This sounds more like personal issues/reflections rather than real issues.

    Sounds like an overall great sedan.

  • avatar
    Rocket

    On paper, I really like the A4. The allroad is a little small for my needs, but I think I could make it work. Unfortunately, the 7-speed DSG ruins this car. Sure, it makes wonderfully quick shifts under hard acceleration, but the inconsistent throttle lag from a dead stop is infuriating. Mr Cain didn’t seem to mind too much, but for me it was a deal-breaker. They should have kept the wonderful ZF 8-speed.

    Odd that Tim had no comment about the steering feel, or rather lack of it. I find it inexcusable that mainstream brands have found a way to make electric steering palatable, and a company like Audi can’t seem to make any progress at all. Pretty sad that the Highlander’s steering is more satisfying.

    • 0 avatar
      markx35

      Can’t agree more with this… The combination of DSG and turbo lag makes laggy and lumpy acceleration at lower speeds. The tested acceleration numbers are nice but the everyday user experience just isn’t as good.

      • 0 avatar
        Anuska

        I agree with Rocket about the loss of feel with electronic steering but do enjoy that it’s adjustable and not nearly as bad as some competitors. It maintains good centering so you can ease the car into centering itself.

        markx35, Turbo lag?? Perhaps a tiny, tiny bit. The turbo cuts in at 1600 rpm or just over idle. Step on the gas at a full stop and the turbo’s engaged in less than a second.

        The DSG is a joy to use, two modes normal and sport. Sport shifts significantly later and I wouldn’t use it unless you’re flat out racing. DSG shifts quicker than possible than with a manual, no mpg loss, and has of course a manual mode shifting both with paddles and at the shifter.

        The earliest versions of the DSG did suffer a slight bit with chunking in stop and go traffic if you accelerated and then quickly backed off. That has been corrected some time after my 2013 model.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    After having rented a 328i and bought my G37S within a couple of months, there’s no way I could do a 2.0T in this segment. Obviously luxury cars cost more and have some intangibles and subjective advantages, but I feel like a loaded GTI or Golf R would not be far off in sensations of quality, while being more fun to drive and more practical. And the agricultural engine note would be more palatable at those price points.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      Ultimately, you are correct. I went from a BMW M235i to a Golf GTI Sport earlier this year for various practicality reasons. The Golf is 90% as good as the BMW, for about 50% of the price (both MSRP and ATP). But if you have the means, that last 10% is pretty sublime! It’s no different than any other product. You can get OK for cheap, pretty good for a bit more, and that last 10% is going to cost a fortune. No different from bicycles, electronics, clothes, what have you.

      If BMW would sell the M135i in the states I would have traded for one in a hot minute and been perfectly happy.

      I would not in any way describe the sound of a VAG 2.0T as agricultural BTW. BMW’s – well, maybe. Still my engine of choice no matter what it is in, the perfect blend of power and efficiency. Don’t like the sound, turn the stereo up a notch.

      • 0 avatar
        Jack Denver

        I know that I shouldn’t care about engine notes as long as the power is there, but I do – I can’t help myself.

        Also I have to wonder about the durability of a Turbo 4 vs. a naturally aspirated 6. Subaru, even though it has Turbo 4s, won’t put them in Legacies as the upgrade engine for supposedly this reason. There’s no free lunch so if you are squeezing well north of 100 hp/liter out of an engine then something has got to give. But I don’t get the feeling that Audi really gives a crap whether these cars are still on the road 10+ years from now. In fact, I get the feeling that they would like it better if they weren’t.

        • 0 avatar
          S2k Chris

          “But I don’t get the feeling that Audi really gives a crap whether these cars are still on the road 10+ years from now. In fact, I get the feeling that they would like it better if they weren’t.”

          I’ve never gotten the impression there were significant problems with VAG engines. I thought their reputation for poor quality was related to everything around the engine, not the engine itself. Am I wrong? I may very well be.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            I always got the impression that VW issues were largely:

            1. Coil Packs
            2. DCT and the price of the service schedule

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            Dan add to that PCV issues, oil burning issues, intake valve coking issus, timing chain stretching issues (on the older 1.8Ts t-belt tearing issues), camshaft/cam follower wear issues.

            I have a hard time respecting a company that can’t even sort out regular gas engines, let alone their TDI fiasco (not just dieselgate, but serious and expensive reliability issues with TDI engines).

            At least the cars are really well rust-proofed.

          • 0 avatar
            S2k Chris

            How much of the coking is due to low RPM usage? If I had one, that wouldn’t be a problem, I believe in hitting redline at least a few times per drive. Does that solve the problem (couple with using top tier gas)? Or are you still on the hook for a decoking at regular intervals?

          • 0 avatar
            sportyaccordy

            S2K Chris, take a look at some EA888 dynos. You wouldn’t be taking anything to redline lol.

            And yea, VWAG gets a lot of really silly stupid basic stuff wrong. The whole design philosophy makes no sense. I learned this when the vacuum pump on my wife’s Rabbit 2.5 died. How did I fix it? I bought a delete kit. The engine has no turbo, it generates more than enough vacuum to run the brake booster. But the pump became a failure point that costs several hundred dollars and does just about nothing. I was shocked.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            Much about Audi (and VAG in general) is problematic, I say this as someone who owned two VWs and one Audi in the past, and as a complete fan of the exterior/interior styling, driving feel, interior materials, and overall tightness of Audi products.

            If Audi were nearly as reliable over the long-term, for us buy and hold for 5 to maybe even 10 year types, I’d be driving an Audi now.

            They’re not only not reliable long-term, but to add insult to injury, they’re unreasonably expensive to maintain in terms of parts (including basic parts like plugs, coils, filters) and even fluids.

            The ideal vehicle for me would be either an A4 (if I could somehow make that tight rear seat work) or A6 (gravitating to an A8 maybe in 10 years or so), depending upon where I was living (A4 if I was living in Arizona or Nevada), A6 if in Midwest, with good long-term reliability, reasonably easy to DIY on most stuff, and good treatment by Audi (which is VAG, in reality) corporste.

            I’m over the need for a 400+ horsepower vehicle, so the clean, elegant exterior design, industry best interior and switchgear (in cars costing what the A4 and A6 do), industry best or near-industry best interior trim and material qualities of Audi, coupled with their solid chassis, Teutonic road manners, and great dash instrumentation, all speak to me.

            I do wish they offered manual transmission in the A4 and even A6, though, did a better job with the electronic steering feel, and really improved the long-term reliability of their vehicles.

            I also feel that the Golf is an excellent “budget” Audi for those liking hatchbacks.

            Also, oddly enough, the new Passat and Jetta are looking more Audi-ish in terms of exterior design, but lose the plot (for good reason; separation of marques and price-points) in Germanic interior materials, ergonomics and aesthetics.

            After being burned by Audi/VW twice now, Audi is like that bad girl who one is really attracted to, but who one knows she’s going to be a big headache and risk if you take the leap (but you never stop looking or wondering).

            If I leased vehicles instead of buying and holding for 5 to 10 (even 12 or 14) years, these risks would be moot, but leasing is the most expensive way to drive a vehicle, with few exceptions (one being buying new and selling or trading in every 2 to 4 years).

        • 0 avatar
          jmo

          Walk me through your thinking here. You’re an engineer and you’re designing a v-6. You analyze the forces involved and you’re given a durability goal so you use various materials and techniques to reach that goal. But you don’t do an once more as that would eat into profits. Now you do the same for a 4-cyl turbo. Certain parts are subject to more intense forces so they are upgraded but you need 1/3 fewer cylinders, valves, etc.

          Are you saying that when a company makes a v-6 they design it to cost more and be more durable than it needs to because…reasons? Why would they do that?

        • 0 avatar
          Anuska

          Jack,

          VAG 4 cylinder engines have great core reliability, in the past some of the peripherals have been weak. I’ve had 8 over 32 years and 3 turbo charged with at or over 200 HP and have kept all at least 120k miles without problems.

          I thought the old displacement and rpm argument died in the 1970’s when small displacement higher rpm engines started outlasting large V8’s. Today’s small high output engines are even better cruising on the highway usually close to 2k rpm much like larger displacement engines at 65 mph.

      • 0 avatar
        sportyaccordy

        As I understand it, much of what you hear in VAG 2.0T cars is fake noise, which to me is worse than fake news. Everything about the 2.0T engines- tiny camshafts, tiny turbos, more than decent sound insulation- points to either a crap or non-existent engine note.

        I still think VW should have made an aluminum block for the corporate 3.6 and stuffed that in the Golf R’s nose. Hell, offer it in the regular GTI too as an upgrade.

        I think once/if the G is ever done I will look at GTIs. They are affordable enough used but still in warranty. 4dr with the Sport pack and LSD sounds really good.

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          I have the fake noise shut off on my GTI. It really makes not THAT much difference, but I don’t see the point of any added noise so I killed it (switched off in software, but you can unplug it too). It sounds like what it is, a turbo four. As a multiple serial Saab and Volvo turbo owner, that does not offend me in the slightest. It is a VERY smooth engine however, from idle to redline. Nothing but an Alfa six is going to compete with my 328i’s six with BMW Performance intake and exhaust for sound anyway.

          The Sport IS really good! Wish I had some better roads to flog it on, but sadly it lives at my place in Florida. With Dieselgate they are stupid cheap new at the moment, I wouldn’t bother with a used one.

        • 0 avatar
          Anuska

          sporty,

          Even if aluminum it would ruin the car. What makes you think the camshafts are tiny? They are longer than a V6 and just as heavy. Small turbo’s are used to start and develop power/torque at 1600 rpm.

          While there maybe cars quieter, VW/Audi sound levels are on the quiet side. In fact for the GTI and model R an engine noise generator is added since most buyers of those cars would like it louder. That noise generator is easily disabled.

          Years ago there was a saying, Germans like to hear the engines more while Italians preferred the sound of the exhaust.

  • avatar
    whitworth

    Way overpriced. Would have liked to have known what exactly the $17k in options specifically was. I mean how expensive can this equipment really be? And shouldn’t most of it now come standard in a “luxury” car? The German car companies always seem to try and soak consumers on this.

    An Audi A6 starts at $47k,seems a much better value.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      Evidently not overpriced, since they sell very well. I suppose it is overpriced if you can’t afford it.

      • 0 avatar
        Jack Denver

        They mostly don’t sell, they lease. But your point is well taken – there are enough people who can afford the lease payments that they can move a lot of these off the dealers’ lots. People don’t really care what the price is, except as it affects their monthly payment.

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          Plenty of people buy, not lease, these sorts of cars, myself included. In fact, historically Audi’s lease rate was among the lowest in the premium car industry. There simply are plenty of people who can afford $50K cars.

          As for repairs, I’ve never owned an Audi but I have no complaints about my various Volvos, Saabs, Peugeots, Mercedes, and BMWs, even at ripe old ages. I don’t expect them to be Camrys, but then again, I’m not stuck driving a Camry (I get to rent more than enough of the miserable things).

      • 0 avatar
        whitworth

        I can point to all sorts of examples of something I feel is over priced but still sells well. Like Rolex watches.

        And most transactions with Audi are leases, so it looks like Audi”s A4 customers can’t really afford to buy them either.

        But let’s make sure to try and throw a petty insult about someone’s financial situation if they say they feel its a poor value. Because it must mean they are really broke.

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          You’re the one throwing around leasing means you can’t afford it. I would say just the opposite. Leasing means you can afford a new car every three years. That takes some wherewithal. Not having money means holding onto the thing forever because you can’t afford to replace it. It’s a whole lot cheaper to fix a car than to replace it.

          I’m no fan of leasing (I think it is an expensive convenience), but if you are going to buy a new car every few years anyway it is not a terrible way to do it. The prejudice against it in and of itself among the B&B is baffling to me, and frankly when you are talking $50K+ cars the difference in payment is not a whole lot. I always run the numbers both ways. So far, leasing only came out on top once, 15 years ago.

          Historically, as I said, Audi had the lowest lease percentage in the industry for their class of cars. Mostly because they did not play around with subventing them.

          • 0 avatar
            whitworth

            64% of Audi transactions are leased.

            And yea, I think most people that lease couldn’t afford to buy the car outright.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            Which is still a relatively low percentage for the segment. You are entitled to your opinion. Though I think it is wrong. :-)

          • 0 avatar
            windnsea00

            Every time I see someone on here complain about price/leasing I automatically assume it’s because they cannot afford it themselves. Just because someone leases doesn’t mean they can’t afford the car, there may be a multitude of reasons why they lease. For instance leasing in CA makes a lot of sense for someone with their own business as you can write it off as a business expense.

            Also high depreciating cars are far better to lease, rather than cut a $50k check into something losing value everyday it would be far wiser to invest it into stocks/real estate/business, etc. that can actually make you money back. Most wealthy people here I know in LA lease their cars, they have something new every few years and don’t tie up $100-300k in a piece of metal losing value every minute.

      • 0 avatar
        jacob_coulter

        Evidently not overpriced, since they sell very well. I suppose it is overpriced if you can’t afford it.

        +++++++

        What a condescending remark.

        And this from the guy that owns a VW. I guess that means you can’t afford the Audi.

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          The guy who owns a VW, a BMW, a Land Rover, a Saab, and a Triumph, who happens to not particularly like Audis, including the latest A4. Which I have driven more than reviewer has most likely, thanks to SilverCar and a crazy work travel schedule.

          As others have pointed out, the price of this car is comparable to less than others in its class. And thus, is not remotely overpriced. Unless this simply isn’t the car (or class of car) for you.

          As I have said on here before, if what makes this class of car worth $10-$15K more than a CamCordima is not worth it to YOU, enjoy your CamCordima and spend the money on something you enjoy. Golf, or a boat. Or kids. Whatever.

          • 0 avatar
            thornmark

            C&D rated the last Accord above the E Class:
            Why the pedestrian Honda Accord out-achieves the new Mercedes-Benz E-class.
            http://www.caranddriver.com/features/honda-accord-2017-10best-cars-feature

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Denver

      No, not really because they are going to tack on the same $17k plus of options before it is reasonably well equipped. With a V-6 and AWD and a couple of other options you are pushing $65K. And don’t forget to lease it because if you still own it after 3 years, that’s when your troubles REALLY begin. Nothing on this car is cheap or easy to fix and the chances that it won’t need a lot fixin’ as time goes on are slim to none.

    • 0 avatar
      S2k Chris

      Actually the A4 is a relative value in the segment. An equally-equipped 328i is going to cost more and lack some of the things available in the Audi. A C-class is going to be a bit more expensive. You can go Japanese, but you’re stuck with: A FWD Lexus ES that’s basically a fancy Avalon, a tiny Lexus IS, a Q50 which is faster but a little less “put together” so to speak, or a fairly lame TLX. I guess you could do something like a Hyundai or a Buick, but then you have a Hyundai or a Buick.

    • 0 avatar
      Anuska

      whitworth,

      They and most other luxury brands do really add on the $ for options. I think what bothers me most is unless you are willing to accept white or black as a color it costs thousands for another color.

      Many “luxury” brands do this including Tesla.

  • avatar
    John R

    “The A4 is more tactile than an Infiniti Q50…”

    I’m not entirely certain what this is playing at, but it can’t be steering feel as this is still a problem for Super Volkswagens in general.

    Even after reading this I still struggle to find the value relative to the cost. The cost of a poverty spec A4 (which will be FWD, mind you) can net you well equipped V6 Camry XSE (which by, most reports, is a good steer). On the other end the cost of an A4 specified like this one is more than the cost of a Q50 Red Sport 400…with AWD. Say what you will about the the Infiniti’s steering feel problem Audi has the same problem AND is slower.

    At least you’ll impress your neighbors.

    • 0 avatar
      5280thinair

      The Camry is certainly a competent car and the V6 has grunt. However, to me they’re not playing in the same space — the A4 feels like a luxury car, the Camry doesn’t. The Audi feels properly thought out, with nice touches throughout, in a way the Toyota simply doesn’t. Not surprisingly Lexus’ offerings are much closer to Audi in this regard, but then they sell for Audi-level prices.

    • 0 avatar
      Anuska

      I’ve driven Camrys and perhaps it’s some people’s idea of nice steering but it reminded me of 1980’s Chevy Impala’s, while a little heavier, still light and requiring a lot of turns lock to lock with little feel.

      “The A4 is more tactile than an Infiniti Q50…”

      I believe this refers to materials used in the interior as well as the way controls feel.

  • avatar
    Carrera

    Well, the A4 is pretty much the benchmark of its segment. As for power? Nothing an APR tune can’t fix.

  • avatar
    whitworth

    So you want your luxury car to have navigation and parking sensors? Well that’s going to raise the price by nearly 50%.

    A loaded A4 should be under $40k.

    But people only gauge price now by the monthly payment.

    • 0 avatar
      S2k Chris

      “A loaded A4 should be under $40k.”

      Based on what? When the A4 was introduced in 1996 (the generation that basically put it on the map) it had an MSRP of $22,900 for a 1.8T FWD model. Converted to 2017 dollars, that’s $36,475. Which is almost exactly the base price today.

      • 0 avatar
        whitworth

        The base price seems fair. The $17k+ extra in options don’t. I think even the author of this piece agrees despite overall liking the car.

        • 0 avatar
          S2k Chris

          Then don’t get them? Don’t know what to tell you. The A4 is priced more cheaply than its direct competitors the C300 and 328i, even when loaded up.

          • 0 avatar
            whitworth

            So are users not allowed to criticize pricing?

            Are we only allowed to sing praises for cars featured here?

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            It’s what this class of car costs, so I too have no idea what to tell you. Don’t buy one if you don’t like the price. A loaded beigemobile pushes $40K pretty hard these days, you certainly aren’t going to get anything premium for that money.

          • 0 avatar
            jacob_coulter

            Lots of people getting p!ssy for a different opinion on Audi and value of options on this car.

            Nearly $18k in options on an A4 is ridiculous, and no, it’s not because I can’t afford it. I drive a brand new Lexus that costs way more.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            The Japanese use a different pricing model. It’s loaded or nothing, at a largely comparable price. The Germans let you buy a basic version and add trim lines and options to taste. I prefer that, as I don’t want most of the whistles and bells, but I want the basic substance of the car – I have nearly no options on my 328i wagon and had even fewer on my M235i. I’ll pay extra to avoid crap I don’t want. The only reason I had an M235i and not an M-sport 228i is that I could not get the 228i without a sunroof, for example.

            Whether they are “options” or not is really immaterial. If you want a car like this, in this class, with this particular level of equipment, it is going to cost you $50K +/- $5k or so, MSRP. Grousing about how “$18K in options is ridiculous” is ridiculous.

            Enjoy your Lexus.

          • 0 avatar
            S2k Chris

            You can criticize price all you want. But when it’s comparable to or cheaper than everything else in the segment it just sounds like an old man yelling at clouds.

    • 0 avatar
      Fred

      If it was under $40,000 then you have a TLX and that car receives a lot of grief here on TTAC

  • avatar
    linger

    $54K is almost exactly what I paid for my new 2015 S4! I think I chose well

  • avatar
    derekson

    “Second, MMI’s volume control is positioned too far rearward for perfect ergonomics.”

    Pretty sure it’s in that position for the passenger. The control on the steering wheel is for the driver.

  • avatar
    burgersandbeer

    I’m not a fan of the way turbo fours sound, but it is hard to argue with the results from Audi’s 2.0T. Going by C&D’s numbers, it edges out the BMW 330i in acceleration, though it keeps a more significant advantage in the 50-70 range, which is key for real world street driving. It stomps on the rest of the competition, and keeps its advantage when it is time to stop.

    I generally avoid benchmark racing, but the numbers are surprising.

    I complain about 4 cylinders in cars costing $40k plus as much as anyone, but it is more grumbling about the current automotive landscape than a criticism of any particular car. I also find it less painful coming from VAG, since they were competing with 2.0Ts before that configuration became “cool.”

    • 0 avatar
      Anuska

      burgersandbeer,

      I agree that for $40k I would tend to want more displacement especially if I was looking for luxury rather the sport.

      On the other hand I love 2 liter engines and their cars. My second favorite is a smaller sub 3 liter straight 6 or a diesel 4. They are my preference due to handling and agility.

      I’m not sure what you mean as far as sound since that relatively easy to change. A 2 liter and 3 liter will or can sound the same though perhaps a different speeds. Just changing the final muffler will make a big difference. I haven’t driven the 2017 and later 2.0T VAG engines but the turbo’s themselves are pretty quiet.

  • avatar
    5280thinair

    I purchased a 2017 A4 just shy of 6 months ago. So far the only quality “issue” has been that Apple CarPlay sometimes doesn’t want to give up control of the audio system (using CarPlay, switch to another audio source, and occasionally CarPlay takes control again after a few seconds). Nothing else worth noting to complain about on that score.

    The steering doesn’t have great feel (it’s not truly numb, but the signals it sends you are pretty subtle compared to a good hydraulic PS system), and the S-stronic transmission can occasionally get a bit flummoxed when you slow to almost a stop and then accelerate again. Otherwise, it’s great — Lexus-like levels of quiet, better acceleration than the hp numbers would suggest (and really more than enough power for 99% of everyday situations), and the ability to easily switch between sport sedan personality and smooth luxury ride. It’s the most expensive car I’ve ever bought by some margin, and fortunately thus far there’s no buyer’s remorse.

    • 0 avatar
      Anuska

      5280,

      I initially had the same problem with the S-tronic (DSG) transmission in stop and go traffic. I think I’ve adjusted because with my second new car with the DSG transmission it doesn’t happen. I think the trick is to ease up more slowly on the gas when slowing (if possible) rather than instantly removing your foot.

    • 0 avatar
      ZCD2.7T

      Get outta here with your first-person ACTUAL experience with this car!!!

      What TTAC needs is more armchair quarterbacks pi**ing all over cars they’ve mostly never driven or even looked closely at!

      /sarcasm.

      Enjoy your car – it’s the world-consensus best in class.

  • avatar
    HotPotato

    “…expose Audi as an overpriced, underbuilt, upmarket Volkswagen…”

    Saaaay, are you the guy that bought my 4000S?

    • 0 avatar
      Anuska

      The Audi 4000S were great cars, especially used. Did I buy one of yours?

      It was based on a VW Fox with a much, much nicer interior. Cars have certainly improved in many ways but I would never say it was underbuilt. In fact if I could I’d buy another today if new or close to new. Much better built than most cars today. The original Quattro was based on that chassis and dominated both track and off-road in it’s class for years.


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